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Top Activities in Yosemite National Park
November 27, 2019 | By: Taylor Randolph
Yosemite National Park was first protected in 1864. It is world-renowned for its cascading waterfalls, alpine meadows, ancient giant sequoias, and abundant wildlife. The park is nestled in California's Sierra Nevada Mountains, which means it has great activities like hiking and rock climbing. Throughout any time of year, there are ample things to do in Yosemite National Park. If you are looking for a nature retreat for your next vacation, then look no further than the beautiful Yosemite National Park. You can relax in front of spectacular mountain vistas as well as enjoy exhilarating activities that will create memories to last a lifetime. Are you ready to start planning your vacation to Yosemite National Park? Let's get started!
There is no better way to see the beauty and splendor of Yosemite than setting out on foot. Hiking rewards you with an up-close view of Yosemite’s unique flora and fauna, the opportunity to commune with nature, and the best panoramic views you can’t get anywhere else. There are a variety of hiking trails at Yosemite that are perfect for beginners to experts. Check out the Yosemite Hiking Guide to find the trail that is best suited for you.
Arts & Culture
The natural beauty surrounding Yosemite national Park creates a truly inspiring environment. You can enjoy many arts and cultural activities around the area including artist galleries, live performances, and artist workshops where you can make your own art. In the Yosemite Valley, enjoy an evening at the Yosemite Theater with creative performances that reveal Yosemite’s history and legends.
Rafting the Rivers of Yosemite
Whitewater rafting is a unique and active way to explore the wonder of the Yosemite region. Choosing a rafting trip depends on your skill level and how much time you have to spend on the river. Class III-IV rapids are fun, exciting, and accessible for beginners. The Class IV Main Tuolumne has long been revered as California’s premier whitewater rafting experience. Choose from single and multi-day options in this remote wild and scenic canyon. If your schedule is limited, consider a half- or full-day trip on the Merced River. The Merced tumbles and twists out of Yosemite Valley and offers abundant Class IV rapids. If you are ready to step up to Class V paddling, the Cherry Creek-Upper Tuolumne river will more than meet your expectations. Cherry Creek is considered one of the most challenging rafting trips in the US. Rafting the Creek is a full-day experience, you can also choose to combine it with the Main Tuolumne for the ultimate 2-day or 3-day rafting excursion. Check out Sierra Mac River Trips to book a tour on one of these three amazing sections of the river. Sierra Mac has been leading whitewater rafting adventures on Yosemite’s rivers since 1965 and was the first company to guide trips on both the Merced, Tuolumne and Cherry Creek.
The historic downtown area of Mariposa has a variety of stores where you can find a personal memento of your trip or a gift for a loved one. There is a wonderful array of souvenir gifts, specialty stores, antique shops, and art galleries. There are also shopping opportunities in Yosemite Valley at The Majestic Yosemite Hotel, Half Dome Village, and Yosemite Village.
If you think Yosemite closes up during the winter, then you are mistaken! The Tioga and Glacier Point Roads close, but there are still many winter activities to enjoy in the park. You can ski the slopes of Yosemite Ski & snowboard Area, snowshoe beneath a full moon, or ice skate with a stunning view of Half Dome. The winter is special in Yosemite because the landscape is blanketed in snow and the thundering waterfalls are frozen quiet. There is a unique stillness and tranquillity during the winter in Yosemite.
Rock climbing in Yosemite is world-renowned for the number of world-class courses and breaking records that have been set here. Perhaps the most famous is the sheer face of El Capitan that attracts experts from all over the globe. Even if you’re not an experienced rock climber, you can still enjoy the thrill of rock climbing in Yosemite by booking a trip with the Yosemite Mountaineering School and Guide Service. Depending on the weather, rock climbing in Yosemite can be a year-round activity.
There are a couple of paved trails around Yosemite that makes bike riding a lovely and easy way to travel. There is a 12-mile, mostly flat, paved loop around Yosemite Valley. The loop usually takes an average of 2 hours to complete. You can also take bikes on the 2-mile paved trail at Mirror Lake. Bike rentals are available in Yosemite Valley during the warmer months of the year.
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